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Watch the Coolest Summer Ever – Live on the Disney Parks Blog

posted on May 22nd, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


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The Coolest Summer Ever live stream has concluded.

Good morning from Walt Disney World! Are you ready for the Coolest Summer Ever?

Well here at Walt Disney World we are just minutes away from kicking off the fun. This year, you can catch the sights and sounds “live” from your computer or mobile device on our live stream from the Train Station on Main Street, U.S.A. We’ll be streaming from Magic Kingdom Park for a full 24 hours.

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Highlights you don’t want to miss are performances of the daytime parade, Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at 3 p.m., and our nighttime entertainment lineup of the “Celebrate the Magic” castle show at 8:45 p.m. & 10:45 p.m., “Wishes” fireworks at 9 p.m. and the Main Street Electrical Parade at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Click here to access our full-screen version now!

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84-Year-Old Great Grandmother Celebrates Mother’s Day Running the Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 15th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


How did you celebrate Mother’s Day? Did you go out for brunch, enjoy a nice family walk, send your mom flowers and candy, or did you run 13.1 miles through Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the city of Anaheim? Well, last Sunday several moms, daughters, grandmothers and great grandmothers did just that – ran 13.1 miles at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry.

If you follow my runDisney blog posts, you know I enjoy standing at the finish line watching runners celebrate their accomplishments. Among the thousands of Tinker Bells and fairy wings, various colors and styles of tutus, and pixie dust blowing in the air, it was exciting to see all the moms celebrating this special day with their daughters. Holding hands, hugging and occasionally leaping across the finish, they celebrated their run, the time together and that special mother/daughter bond. It was the start of what could be a wonderful tradition.

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One runner catching everyone’s attention was Viola “Mae” Douglass of Sequin, Tex. Decked out in blue fairy wings, a blue tutu and a matching decorated blue visor, Mae wore several hats this day: great grandmother, grandmother, mom and oldest runner. That’s right – “oldest runner.” At the young age of 84 she was the oldest runner for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and celebrated Mother’s Day by running with her two daughters.

Our video cameras were there when Mae finished her journey and I am excited to share that moment with you.

Just before getting her Tinker Bell finisher medal, Mae said, “Greatest Mother’s Day ever. . . it’s a beautiful sunshiny day and Disney is wonderful, we love Disney.”

Happy Mother’s Day to Mae and all our Tinker Bell Half Marathon moms. We hope you celebrate with us again in May 2016.

For more information on the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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The Kids from ABC ‘black-ish’ Prepare for the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 30th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


With production of a successful first season wrapped up, the four young actors from the ABC hit comedy black-ish visited Walt Disney World Resort this past weekend to get an early start on their “Coolest Summer Ever.”

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The Kids from 'black-ish' Prepare for the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort The Kids from 'black-ish' Prepare for the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort The Kids from 'black-ish' Prepare for the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort

Marcus Scribner, Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin and Miles Brown danced with Mickey and Minnie, met their favorite Disney characters, enjoyed a trip on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and defended themselves against the dark side. Creating memories with their real families and TV family was what this vacation was all about.

You can catch these young stars in all new episodes of black-ish Wednesdays at 9:30|8:30c on ABC.

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Video Captures the Royal Experience of the Disney Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 26th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Recently in a kingdom not so far away, more than 24,000 Princesses and Princes made a 13.1-mile journey through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Some runners took just over an hour to complete their journey, and for others it took a little longer. No matter their ability they all followed the same path, triumphantly ran through Cinderella Castle, celebrated at the finish line, earned the coveted Disney Princess Tiara Finisher Medal and created runDisney memories that will last a lifetime.

What was their experience like?

With the help of 6 photographers from the Disney Yellow Shoes team, 13 cameras and tens of thousands of images, we can share their journey in just over two minutes.

Once upon a time ……

A special thanks to Disney photographers David Roark, Matt Stroshane, Kent Phillips, Ryan Wendler, Chloe Rice, Todd Anderson, and editor Bryan Smoker for their creativity in bringing this story to life.

For more information on runDisney event weekends, I invite you to visit runDisney.com.

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U.S. Navy Blue Angels Roar Down Main Street, U.S.A. at the Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


What happened this morning at Magic Kingdom Park was really cool: to the cheers of thousands of guests gathered on Main Street U.S.A. and in front of Cinderella Castle, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels performed two flyovers of the theme park.

U.S. Navy Blue Angels Soar Above Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort

Six F/A-18 Hornet jets that were traveling from their home base in Pensacola, FL, to an air show in the state, used the opportunity to entertain and inspire guests. Traveling more than 250 mph, these jets capable of super sonic speeds roared down Main Street U.S.A. holding the tradition Delta Formation on their first pass. After quickly turning around the jets returned and executed a Delta Break over Cinderella Castle.

This was a magical flight these pilots and park guests will not soon forget. Your chance to experience the excitement is one click away on the video box above.

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‘Will You be My Happily Ever After?’: A runDisney Proposal at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on March 6th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


If you follow my runDisney posts on the Disney Parks Blog, you know I love being at the finish lines of our events. Watching runners celebrate one of the most memorable moments in their lives is exciting, inspirational and emotional. You see it all – screams of joy, tears of happiness, hugs and high fives. And once in awhile you witness life-changing events. You see, as one journey ends for some runners, another journey begins for others. That is exactly what happened for one couple I caught up with at the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

As Thatiany Leal-Oliveira from Boca Raton, FL, ran her first half marathon and first runDisney event, she traveled the 13.1-mile course through Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, as her prince, Sal Lisboa of Deerfield Beach, FL, was in a race of his own, a race into the future. Both taking different courses, but both focused on the finish time. A finish that couldn’t come fast enough. Not only was the coveted Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara finisher medal waiting for Thatiany to put around her neck, but so was a life changing proposal and “bling” to put on her finger.

So what did she say? Well, runDisney is all about “happily ever after” stories, so see what happens for yourself.

Congratulations Sal and Thatiany, and we wish you a “happily ever after” as you race into the future.

If you want to know more about runDisney and future event weekends, visit runDisney.com. You can also follow us on runDisney Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @runDisney.

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Celebrating the Ultimate Girls Weekend at the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


It was the ultimate runDisney girls weekend as more than 49,500 registered runners participated in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Walt Disney World Resort.

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From our princesses-in-waiting competing in the runDisney Kids Races, to more experienced princesses participating in the Disney Princess 5K, the Disney Princess Enchanted 10K and the Disney Princess Half Marathon, the weekend was filled celebrating the attributes of a true princess – commitment, perseverance and determination.

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The crowning moment came on Sunday when more than 24,000 runners participated in the Half Marathon. The 13.1-mile journey took runners to Magic Kingdom Park, through Cinderella Castle and finished with a royal celebration just outside Epcot. Waiting for runners was one of the most coveted rewards, the Disney Princess Half Marathon Tiara Finisher Medal. And for those special princesses registered for the Glass Slipper Challenge, completing the 10K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday (19.3 total miles), an additional medal was bestowed upon them, the Glass Slipper Challenge Medal.

Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon Fun During the Disney Princess Half Marathon

Although every runner had something to celebrate, one runner’s journey was just a little more magical.

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After falling on ice and breaking her hip one year ago, and fearing she would never run again, 30-year-old Lauren Passell from New York City was the winner of the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Dressed in a Tinker Bell-inspired outfit, Passell had a winning time of 1:22:59. She was followed by second-place finisher Heather Schulz of Orlando (1:23:28) and Mariela Ortiz of Argentina was third (1:23:45).

Congratulations to Lauren Passell and all who ran and celebrated like a princess. We hope the following video helps you relive your accomplishment. And for those who weren’t able to participate, we hope it inspires you to join us February 2016.

For more information about Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney events, visit runDisney.com.

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Watch Princess Half Marathon Live

posted on February 22nd, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


Right now you can share in the excitement of the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by replaying a live video stream of the start and finish lines.

Your chance to track and watch runners cross the finish line and share in their celebration “live” begins by clicking on one of the two boxes below. One stream started at 5:00 a.m. and included the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other began at 6:30 a.m. and was an interrupted stream from the finish line.

Princess Half Marathon Start Line:

To view the full size version of the Princess Half Marathon, click here.

Princess Half Marathon Finish Line:

To view the full size version of the Princess Half Marathon, click here.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog and replay both feeds.

For more information on the Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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You Will Fly for These Tinker Bell Half Marathon Finisher Medals

posted on February 19th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


You set a goal, you started your training and now you get to see what waits for you in May at the finish line of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon presented by PANDORA Jewelry at the Disneyland Resort.

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Today I am excited to show you all the finisher medals for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, including the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge medal for those running the 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday.

Disney is all about storytelling and these runDisney medals are no exception. To help get the story behind the “bling”, I went straight to the man behind the medals, Disney Art Director Scott Auerbach. He designed this year’s finisher medals.

The Never Land 5K medallion features the Lost Boys. These boys have always been popular with our guests, and Auerbach feels their playful and adventurous attitude is a perfect fit for the family fun run.

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Auerbach says his goal for the Tinker Bell 10K was to create a medal that included Tinker Bell’s friends from Pixie Hollow. He decided to go with five fairies, and when combined you get a total of 10 wings, one for each kilometer of your journey. The medal is enhanced with a pearlescent texture on the wings. This gives a light shifting reflection and depth that really makes the wings come to life.

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The Tinker Bell Half Marathon finisher medal again features Tink herself. Surrounded by wings, Tink spins in the center of the medal, and it is sprinkled with a little pixie dust color to help you fly.

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In designing the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge finisher medal, Auerbach drew inspiration from the movie “The Pirate Fairy.” In the film, Tinker Bell and her friends set out to find Zarina who took the Blue Pixie Dust. On their journey each of the fairies’ “talents” are switched and this puts them in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar situation. However, in order to find Zarina and the Blue Pixie Dust, they must accept these new talents and work together. Through persistence and teamwork they were able to find the Pixie Dust and recover their friend Zarina. Aurbach says this medal represents the challenges that Tinker Bell and her friends faced and the various talents used to accomplish their goals. Each icon represents the talents of Tinker Bell (tinker talent), Silvermist (water talent), Vidia (fast-flying talent), Rosetta (garden talent), Iridessa (light talent), and Fawn (animal talent).

Auberach says, “Like the fairies, we can accept new challenges and with a little persistence, learning new talents, and working together, we can all achieve incredible goals.”

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We hope you like these medals and that they provide the motivation you need to complete your training. For those not registered for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, I hope these inspire you to join us for a future runDisney event weekend and get your “bling”.

See you at the finish line in May.

For more information about Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend and other runDisney event weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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Share in The Magic With ‘Live’ Stream of the Disney Princess Half Marathon

posted on February 18th, 2015 by Robert Hitchcock, PR Manager/Content Producer, runDisney


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On Sunday more than 24,000 women will create magical memories when they participate in the Disney Princess Half Marathon presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and you can share in the excitement “live” from your computer, tablet or cell phone.

runDisney is excited to offer this opportunity for friends and family, and those just wanting to checkout a runDisney event, to “click-in” and watch dreams come true. Followers will be able to track runners as they run 13.1-miles through the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot, and then join in “live” for a royal celebration at the finish line.

Guests that go to the Disney Parks Blog will have two live streams to choose from. One stream begins at 5:00 a.m. and includes the start line, multiple cameras and social media feeds. The other begins at 6:30 a.m. and features an uninterrupted stream from the finish line.

You can join in the social media conversation on Twitter and Instagram by using #PrincessHalf.

After the race come back to the Disney Parks Blog for your chance to replay both feeds.

For more information on Disney Princess Half Marathon and other runDisney race weekends, visit runDisney.com.

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